Those of you who know me IRL know that I am obsessed with 80s music. I was obsessed with it then, and I am even more obsessed with it now. I wasn't cool enough in the 80s to go to live shows, so I have made up for it in the last year or so, seeing The Police, The Psychedelic Furs, The English Beat, Tears for Fears, and The Cure on their recover-the-glory tours. I even break out the Live Aid DVDs on cross-country flights.
So it's probably no surprise that I am excited to read this book: Talking To Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield. I sadly missed Sheffield's book signing at BEA this May, but I did read his last book - Love Is A Mix Tape - and I am intrigued by this latest one.
Don't be fooled by the title: Talking To Girls About Duran Duran may sound like a dream come true to all the women who she-bopped through the 80s, but at heart it's the Feminine Mystique that every boy-next-door has been waiting for (and will actually read). It's something like a prequel to Rob Sheffield's first, fantastic memoir, Love Is a Mix Tape taking its cue this time from a musical decade so addictive and eclectic that, as he notes, "every night in your town, you can find a bar somewhere hosting an Awesome 80s Prom Night." This hilarious and heartfelt collection of coming-of-age vignettes is arguably a much more satisfying way to spend an evening, though, particularly if you have even an ounce of the New Wave obsession that courses through it. Sheffield riffs on the songs that saw him through the rapture and misery and bewilderment of being a guy who wanted to understand girls, gleefully skewering Duran Duran along the way (even as he professes his love for them) and paying tribute to tunes that captured some of his best moments. If you're going to revisit your youth, let Rob Sheffield be your guide. Nothing compares to him.
I liked Love Is a Mix Tape, but I didn't love it. I have a feeling that the construct in Talking to Girls About Duran Duran - going through the songs that defined Sheffield in his formative years - might be a more compelling framework for a book about music than Love Is A Mix Tape was. (I certainly felt for Sheffield in that book, but in the end, I found that the importance of the music to him and his wife was underdeveloped.)
Anyone else 80s obsessed? Would you read this?